Celebrated Chinese director Yimou Zhang has come aboard to replace Edward Zwick on The Great Wall, the first project under Legendary Pictures' off-shoot Legendary East, which is focused on Chinese-themed projects.

The drama was close to starting production back in 2012 before scheduling issues caused director Edward Zwick to leave in September 2012. The production was initially bumped due to inclement weather conditions in China and New Zealand, and also because funding had not been fully secured.

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Henry Cavill and Benjamin Walker were initially set to star as two British soldiers travelling through 15th Century China, who witness the Great Wall of China's construction. They learn that the Chinese are not building the wall to keep out the invading Mongol forces, but to keep an evil supernatural force at bay. At this time, neither actor is involved in the project.

Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz wrote the script, based on an original story by Legendary's Thomas Tull and World War Z author Max Brooks. The script will be rewritten, with the basic concept of the mystery and secret origin of The Great Wall to remain, although they may remove the supernatural elements.

Yimou Zhang's credits include Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower, A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop and, most recently, The Flowers of War starring Christian Bale.